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ATP Murray River Open Day 1 Predictions Including Frances Tiafoe vs Corentin Moutet

Adrian Mannarino in action ahead of the ATP Murray River Open

It’s been a long two weeks since we last saw competitive tennis, with players having been complying with the mandatory quarantine imposed in Australia. But the season will now get underway in earnest with warm-up events ahead of the Australian Open, including the Murray River Open. A number of top players, including Stan Wawrinka, will be competing later in the week, but there are plenty of intriguing matchups on day one and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions across the board. But who will reach the second round?

ATP Murray River Open Day One Predictions

Frances Tiafoe vs Corentin Moutet

Head-to-head: Tiafoe 1-1 Moutet

Frances Tiafoe is 5-2 in his last seven matches. This includes a semifinal-showing in Nur-Sultan to end 2020 and then a quarterfinal in Delray Beach to begin the 2021 season. Corentin Moutet, meanwhile, hasn’t played a match yet in 2021, with his last tournament the Paris Masters last year, where he beat Salvatore Caruso in three sets in the first round before withdrawing ahead of a second-round clash with former-world #3 Marin Cilic.

Their head-to-head is tied at one win apiece, with both matchups coming late last season. Moutet won on the clay in Sardinia, a defeat Tiafoe avenged in Nur-Sultan. And with Tiafoe’s game starting to click again, the American will feel that he should have made it further than quarterfinals in Delray Beach. Generally, he’s doing a good job controlling the baseline with his powerful groundstrokes, whilst his court-coverage has also impressed.

Moutet, who plays a tricky lefty game, hasn’t played a competitive match in some time, and with his approach partly reliant on pulling off low-margin touch shots, it’s unclear how he will have been affected by the two weeks in quarantine. But this is ultimately a match that Tiafoe is the favourite in regardless. Put simply, on a hard court he has the matchup advantage over Moutet, who is at his best on the clay.

Prediction: Tiafoe in 2
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Radu Albot vs Federico Coria

Head-to-head: first meeting

Radu Albot endured a miserable stretch of form, failing to win a match between the Paris Masters in 2019, where he lost to Gael Monfils in the third round, and the Hamburg Open in September, 2020, when he got over the line against Juan Ignacio Londero. However, since then he has been able to win matches fairly consistently, even making the quarterfinals in Sofia in his final tournament of 2020. That said, he did lose in straight-sets to Jeremy Chardy in Antalya in his only match of 2021 so far.

Federico Coria hasn’t played a match yet in 2021, but may well still be suffering from the hangover of ending 2020 by losing seven of his final ten matches. It will be the first meeting between this pair, with both typically consistent from the baseline and able to make opponents work very hard to win points. But Albot is much more comfortable on hard courts that Coria. In a match where neither man is in sparkling form, that should prove the difference.

Prediction: Albot in 3
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Pedro Sousa vs Li Tu

Head-to-head: first meeting

Pedro Sousa hasn’t played a match yet in 2021, but he ended 2020 very strongly, winning the indoor clay Challenger in Maia to close his year. Li Tu, meanwhile, isn’t ranked, but don’t let that fool you. Playing in the Australian UTR events, Tu has won 13 matches in a row and will surely come into this match with real confidence as a result.

Unsurprisingly, this will be their first meeting. Sousa has a huge forehand and will likely look to dictate with that shot, but he is not particularly comfortable on hard courts, preferring the clay. Tu, who has impressed with his controlled aggression from the baseline, is rather more at home on hard courts and it feels as though his hard work has left him perfectly placed to take this opportunity. Tu pulls off the upset.

Prediction: Tu in 3
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Adrian Mannarino vs Mikael Ymer

Head-to-head: Ymer 1-0 Mannarino

After finishing the 2020 season in fine fashion with a run to the semifinals in Sofia, Adrian Mannarino looked rusty, and perhaps slightly injured, in losing to Cameron Norrie at the Delray beach Open to start his 2021 season. However, given that Mannarino has had plenty of time to rest and recover, any injury concerns are likely in the past. Mikael Ymer, meanwhile, hasn’t played since the French Open last season. His form is completely unknown at this point.

He does lead the head-to-head 1-0, but that win came on the clay and so can perhaps be discounted. After all, clay is Ymer’s best surface and Mannarino’s worst. The Frenchman is much more comfortable on hard courts, where his flat groundstrokes are that much more effective. Ymer, in contrast, hits his groundstrokes, particularly his forehand, with heavy topspin, which can make him hard to handle on the clay but short of penetration on hard courts. Mannarino should be too strong for Ymer here.

Prediction: Mannarino in 2

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